Admit it. Before you took that first cruise, your thoughts about cruise ships and cruise vacations consisted of flashbacks to Love Boat re-runs. Cruising was all about sunny, tropical destinations like Bermuda, Mexico and Hawaii.
Since traveling by cruise ship is more popular than ever before, thanks to its affordability, you can not only go to those sunny destinations but also to more unusual ports like Hong Kong, Alaska, Norway and the Amazon River.
Still, a lot of cruising is done in warm weather. The Caribbean is one of the most popular places for first-time cruisers to go. Among the places to choose from are the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There is also the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Usually, cruise ships heading for the Caribbean set sail from ports along the Eastern United States coast as well as Florida. The same applies to beautiful Bermuda.
People who live on the West Coast of the United States often cruise to Hawaii and its islands. The main goal of some vacationers is simply to see the black sandy beaches of Punaluu. Cool Alaskan cruises are a big deal not only because of the sights but also because of the cool side trips that can be taken. Passengers can gaze at glaciers either by land, by helicopter or even a guided walking tour. They can go salmon fishing or relive some of the history of the Gold Rush days at some of the Alaskan ports. These cruises also offer up some wildlife in the process. Passengers have been known to spot humpback whales, moose, wolverines, sea lions and bears.
If it is winter time in the United States, you can bet that veteran cruisers may be heading to places in South America like Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires to indulge in their summer seasons in an exotic locale. Some of the more adventurous may decide on an Amazonian cruise or choose to cruise the Galapagos Islands.
The Indian Ocean may appeal to some with an eye for less commercialized ports of call. Some of these ports include African islands like Madagascar, the Seychelles and the Spice Islands. Plus, you could even extend your vacation to include a Kenyan safari.
The Mediterranean Sea beckons to the cruisers who are history buffs. Some of the places rich in history include Italy and the ruins of Rome including the Colosseum. Greece is another popular Mediterranean destination seeped in history. The islands of Corfu and Crete are often included in a Grecian cruise. Visiting other parts of Europe are a must for those seeking a travel back through time. From Scottish castles to the Latin flavors of Barcelona, Spain, there is something for anyone.
Deciding where to go is one of the hardest parts of cruise travel. For a lot of us, budget dictates where we can go. Want a warm, sunny place or a cool cruise to Alaska? No matter what your pocketbook says, there are fabulous destinations to be cruised.